Reinach and Armstrongian State of Affairs Ontology

Axiomathes:1-12 (forthcoming)
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In this paper, I relate key features of Adolf Reinach’s abundant ontology of propositional states of affairs of his (1911) to Armstrong’s – or an Armstrongian – state of affairs ontology, with special regard to finding out how sparse or abundant the latter is with respect to negative states of affairs. After introducing the issue, I clarify the notion of a propositional state of affairs, paying special attention to the notion of abstract vs. concrete. I show how Reinach’s states of affairs are propositional, and how they compare with Chisholm’s well-known propositional states of affairs. In the next section, I outline Reinach’s five roles for states of affairs and show that only one of them is relevant to Armstrongian state of affairs ontology. In the following section, I utilize this role to create a ranking of state of affairs ontologies according to how abundant (sparse) they are. It is, however, unclear which level Armstrongian state of affairs ontology is at, since it is unclear if, like Reinach’s ontology, it includes negative states of affairs. In the final section, I argue that the answer is a qualified ‘yes’, i.e. it does not occupy the sparsest level.
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Archival date: 2020-09-10
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